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What is the difference between herbs and prescription drugs?

Professional herbalists use traditional preparations of herbs. For each individual herb, a particular part of the plant, be it the root, the bark, the flowering tops, or the seeds, etc., is used either dried, or extracted into alcohol or glycerite to make a medicine. Nothing is added, nothing is taken away - the whole of that portion of the plant is utilised. This is the way herbs have been used in all human cultures for thousands of years. Herbs in traditional use are not associated with side effects. Those that were have long ago passed into disuse.

Many modern prescription drugs are derived from plants, perhaps the most famous being aspirin; another is digoxin, originally derived from the foxglove. But here the resemblance to a herbal remedy ends. A typical plant contains dozens of compounds in small amounts, whereas a drug consists of a single chemical compound, either extracted from a plant or synthesised in a laboratory, which has been standardised, purified and concentrated so that it can be administered in large, measured doses.


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